June 02, 2011, 8:48 AM — At long last, Sony has restored the Playstation Store to its PSN services, at least in North American and Europe. This is the last major portion of the service to return after the data breach that forced Sony to take all its services offline way back on April 20th.
As expected, Sony has flooded the store with new updates (check their blog for a complete list), which is arguably good news for gamers but less so for the developers who've been without income for 6 weeks and whose titles are now directly competing with each other (rather than having their week of being the only 'new stuff' under the normal schedule). Worse, Sony is going to be rolling out another update tomorrow!
As for the Store itself, it's struggling. Let's hope this is due to a rush of eager gamers hitting the service, rather than an internal error or worse, another attack. At 8:30 AM ET I was trying to make some purchases and queue some downloads and was getting a lot of errors that just seemed like basic time-out issues. Eventually I got a boatload of stuff queued (had to exit and re-enter the Store a few times) and download speeds seem about what I expect from PSN.
Our Welcome Back freebies aren't quite ready, though. The more cynical will see this as a marketing ploy aimed at getting users to spend some money before they get a basketful of free stuff to occupy their time. Sony just says it's still in testing.